Kickstarter emerges from At the Sea of Madness
Lovecraft-inspired point-and-click horror adventure coming to PC and mobile devices this year
H.P. Lovecraft’s particular brand of horror is a perfect fit with the slower pace of adventure games, so it’s no surprise that more and more developers are looking to the renowned author for inspiration. The latest game to be influenced by the master of cosmic horror is At the Sea of Madness, an upcoming point-and-click adventure that is currently on Kickstarter.
William Murdok is your prototypical 1930s private eye: 40 years old, drinks as much as he smokes, and neglects his family too much for the sake of the job. Unfortunately for William, his behaviour is about to catch up with him, as he discovers that his ex-wife plans to take their 10-year-old daughter Sophie and leave the French capital with another man. The news devastates William, who adores his daughter and even still loves his wife, though he’s “too proud to admit it.” Not willing to concede without a fight, William decides to pay Eva a visit to hopefully talk her out of it. What happens from there remains to be seen, but this seemingly simple domestic matter soon gives way to a globetrotting thriller that sees players travel “between Paris, Milan, Lisbon and a mysterious island in the ocean, on planes, ships and the legendary Orient Express.”
Inspired by Lovecraft but telling an original story, At the Sea of Madness is presented with a unique combination of higher-res backgrounds and chunky pixel art character sprites. The story will be split into six chapters, featuring gameplay that takes its cues from the genre classics like Monkey Island and Broken Sword. Using an intuitive mouse-based interface, players must explore the various environments in search of people, places and things that will push the narrative forward. William does carry his trusty pistol with him, but this is no action game, so the protagonist keeps it holstered whenever possible, “hoping he won’t have to use it.”
This is the first game from indie Italian developer Darkkenda, but they’re no strangers to the genre. The studio was founded by Roberto Lombardo, whose previous adventure game experience includes work on the Game Boy Color titles The Fish Files and The New Addams Family Series. In order to finish production on the new game, the team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise €6,000 by June 1st, with a stretch goal of €15,000 for English voice-overs. If successful, we could see At the Sea of Madness launched on PC and mobile devices sometime before the end of this year, with console ports possible depending on whether other stretch goals are met.